This is actually a short letter to the editor, but considering the role Poland has had in the sport in recent years, it’s worth putting in the collection.
Thanks for Michael Colton’s interesting story about Hacky Sack, “The Goodwill Game” (Sept. 18).
I was first introduced to the game in the fall of 1988 when I accompanied 30 University of Redlands students to our Salzburg campus for a semester of study together. We played Hacky Sack all over Europe.
I remember one spirited game in the plaza in front of St. Peters, Rome. A too-swift kick resulted in the footbag landing on top of a Polish tour bus. It was lost for good, and we figured it might have made its way back to Poland. One year later Poland was free.
The full title of this probably wouldn’t fit in the title bar, which is The Goodwill Game: You Can’t Win at Hacky Sack – And That’s The Point. The Ultimate Neo-Hippie Sport.
There is often antagonism within the freestyle footbag scene to be associated with the hippy imagery, which might be blamed on articles like this…
On a hot, crowded Saturday at Venice Beach, Pat King, 19, spots two guys kicking around a Hacky Sack. Hoping to play, too, he whispers the secret password recognized at hack circles around the world: “Mind if I join in?”
The Olympics claim to promote peace and unity, but any hacker will tell you the true goodwill game is Hacky Sack. It has kept warrior guards awake in ancient China, warmed up the legs of soccer players, and helped treat sports injuries by stretching muscles and tendons. In its latest incarnation, though, it’s the ultimate neo-hippie sport–the athletic equivalent of tie-dyed clothing or listening to the Grateful Dead.